Egan Identifies Those 'At the Core' of Anonymous Letter

Article excerpt

"Priests who have been found guilty of sexually abusing minors" are "at the core" of the anonymous letter (NCR, Oct. 27) circulating in the New York archdiocese that is highly critical of New York Cardinal Edward Egan.

That's what Egan wrote in an Oct. 20 letter addressed to archdiocesan priests. Copies of the letter were sent to various media including NCR.

Egan wrote, "The recent anonymous letter criticizing my pastoral service to the archdiocese has done immense harm" and "this situation cannot be allowed to continue."

Many priests "who have been found guilty of sexually abusing minors after thorough treatment of their cases according to well-established arch diocesan procedures ... claim that they have been the victims of unjust treatment, deception and lack of understanding," Egan wrote. These stories, he wrote are "at the core of the letter."

A 950-word letter from a group calling itself A Committee of Concerned Clergy for the Archdiocese of New York, came to light in early October.

The letter stated that the morale of local priests was at an all-time low and cited the cardinal for his "arrogant and cavalier manner" in dealing with his priests.

The document criticized the cardinal for being more concerned with financial management of the archdiocese than with the spiritual needs of its priests and people.

The letter suggested priests cast a secret vote of "no confidence in Cardinal Egan" when they next hold their vicariate meetings.

The archdiocesan Priests' Council condemned the letter after an Oct. …